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News cycles and Instagram feeds may have gone back to normal, but the need to be actively anti-racist and show allyship remains important – celebrating Black Pound Day is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Black Pound Day was masterminded by Swiss, former So Solid rapper, to champion Black-owned businesses and support the growth of the UK Black economy. The first took place on 27 June and will be every first Saturday of the month going forward, the next is on 1 August.
The initiative aims to make UK shopping habits more inclusive by encouraging everyone to buy products and services from Black-owned businesses to continue the fight against racial inequality. Black-owned businesses are four times less likely to receive bank loans, credit cards and overdrafts. This institutional lack of access to capital means that black businesses are more likely to fail than their white counterparts, but together we can change this.
Our collective spending power can cause lasting change if we are more intentional about how, and where we spend. According to the Black Pound Day website, if everyone spends just £10 a week on Black businesses that would inject £1.9bn into the Black community.
To help get you started; here’s our selection of brands, ranging from fashion to food, you can support this upcoming Black Pound Day and beyond. Be sure to post a picture of your purchase using the hashtag #BlackPoundDay.
The eponymous brand founded by legendary make up artist Pat McGrath is known for its avant-garde approach to beauty. The debut product Gold 001, a multifunctional richly-pigmented powder which serves as an eyeshadow, highlight famously sold out in six minutes and remains a favourite to this day.
Abi Oyepitan and Liha Okunniwa are the two best friends behind Liha Beauty. The pair pride themselves on creating vegan, cruelty-free, natural products which fuse the rich botanical life of West Africa with traditional English aromatherapy remedies.
Founded by Florence Adepoju, MDMFlow is a premium beauty brand inspired by the glamour of mid-90s to early 2000s Hip Hop culture. Florence combines her love of beauty and science to create bold lipstick shades and intense mascara suitable for a range of skin tones.
Epara means “to cocoon oneself” in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira. This luxury skincare repairs and pampers, leaving skin moisturised and hydrated by harnessing the antioxidant and nurturing properties of African botanicals.
If you want to make a statement, look no further than the London-based brand Virgos Lounge. Think vintage silhouettes, bright embellished dresses – perfect for any occasion.
Launched in 2019 this luxury footwear brand is ethically and delicately hand-crafted in Milan. Known for its understated elegance, the recently launched brand was featured on Beyonce’s directory of Black-owned business ‘Black Parade’ – definitely one to watch.
Kai Collective is a womenswear brand of attainable clothing with luxury aesthetics. ‘Kai’ means many things in many languages. ‘Wow’ in the Nigerian dialect of Hausa, ‘strong and unbreakable’ in Burmese – the list goes on. The international name reflects the lifestyle of the founder, fashion and travel blogger Fisayo Longe who established the brand in 2016.
This minimalist unisex brand by husband and wife Ola and Cerise Alabi duo is perfect if you are looking for modern, functional and considered design.
Dark Sugars is home to some of the best handmade chocolate truffles, pearls and vegan treats that London has to offer. Their hot chocolate, made from Ghanaian cocoa beans and adorned with chocolate shards is absolutely not to be missed.
Saint Aymes is founded and exclusively designed by two sisters, Michela and Lois Wilson. Located in the heart of West London, the escapist coffee shop is known for its artisan chocolates, decadent lattes and signature treats laced with 24ct gold.
Ikoyi builds its own spice-based cuisine around British micro-seasonality, offering a modern twist on West African flavours. Founded by childhood friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan, Ikoyi is the first African restaurant to receive a Michelin star.
Ayannas London is a Caribbean fine dining restaurant in Canary Wharf. It’s award-winning chef Collin Brown serves us elevate Caribbean classics like Jerk Chicken and an amazing array of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
Established in 2016 by model Leomie Anderson, LAPP represents the modern woman’s style and the issues they care about. LAPP stands for ‘Leomie Anderson the Project the Purpose’ and was birthed from Leomie’s outspoken stance on women’s issues.
Y-Fit Wear is a premium purpose-led sportswear brand. Founded by Mark Agyakwa in 2016, Y-Fit combines performance, functionality, lifestyle and culture.
The Gallery Of African Art
The Gallery of African Art (GAFRA) opened its doors in May 2013. Since then the space has hosted several solo exhibitions of renowned artists from across the continent.
Founded by Yinka Shonibare’s Shonibare Studio, the Guests Projects arts space offers an opportunity for projects of any artistic discipline, including dance, visual arts, and music, to have access to a project space for one month.